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Company Spotlight: Epon by Endo

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Golfers who are passionate about equipment know the name Endo, a forging house that accounts for 90 percent of forging on the professional golf tours worldwide. But what some of those golfers might not know is that on top of forging products for companies like Bridgestone, Callaway and Nike, Endo also produces its own line of equipment, called Epon.

While Epon is relatively unknown in the US, the company has a 35 percent marketshare of custom clubs sales in Japan. According to William Cho, North America distributor for Epon Golf USA, the company is taking steps to grow in the US and Canada, placing its products in the hands of certified clubfitters who are handpicked based on their expertise and geography.

Chris Darakdjian, owner of Pure Impact Golf Studio in Commerce, Mich., is one of those fitters. Darakdjian has been fitting golfers for Epon clubs for nearly two years, and has been impressed with the quality of Epon products, especially the irons.

[youtube id=”VNAuJXoH8aM” width=”620″ height=”360″]

“The tolerances are pretty much always perfect,” Darakdjian said. “Most golfers who I fit hit them longer than what they came in with.”

According to Cho, the secret of Epon golf clubs is the 40 years of experience that its parent company, Endo, has spent designing, developing and forging equipment for major OEM brands.

“Throughout the years, Endo has accumulated so much information and knowledge on club design and manufacturing,” Cho said. “Endo is the only manufacturer in the world with their level of technology, design, and R&D team to truly develop and create a product from beginning to end — raw material selection to retail sales.”

That control gives Epon the ability to forge complex iron head shapes that other companies are forced to cast, according to Cho, creating products that have a much better feel. The company also uses a special robot laser welding process on its more forgiving iron models that Cho says creates club faces with 0.83 COR, the maximum allowed by golf’s ruling bodies.

Epon 502Epon 702

For Darakdjian, this has resulted in higher ball speeds and higher smash factors during fittings, which has translated to longer distance. All this technology and attention to detail comes at a price, however. While Epon does not provide specific pricing for its products, sets usually cost $2000 or more when puchased from an Epon Certified Club Fitter.

Click here to see in-hand photos of more Epon products in the “Japanese Domestic/non-US market equipment” forum. 

epon irons

Here is a gallery of photos

 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. John

    Jul 30, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    So J40’s from Bridgestone are just as good as epon would you say however hopefully cheaper. Does endo make the Titleist Mb CB blades and Mizuno forged products. Cheers

  2. MyBluC4

    Jan 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Absolutely stunning equipment in terms of design and construction.

  3. pablo

    Jan 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Interesting. I hit Bridgestone J40 cavity backs and never knew that Epon made them.

    • no@thanks

      Jan 18, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      I hit J40’s as well, but ENDO makes them. Not EPON, that’s the house brand from ENDO.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: New Callaway Forged irons… Apex or Legacy?

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Photos of a new Callaway Forged iron popped up in our GolfWRX Forums, and our members are trying to figure out whether they’re going to be replacements for Apex Pro irons, or whether they’re an update on the Legacy series. They could also be X-Forged irons, but since Callaway recently came out with new X-Forged irons, that would be unlikely.

Here’s what GolfWRX Members are saying:

  • elwhippy: A new Legacy iron? Looks a bit Japanese shaped. 
  • mattTHEkatt: Like an X-Forged/Legacy Black mashup. They look powerful. 
  • DTown3011: …gotta be the next Apex!
  • J13: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • mgholda: Pics look like a newer legacy black.
  • TheMoneyShot: I thought Cally was going to phase out the Apex name after they released the MBs?
  • john443: A larger cavity in these then the X- Forged… competitor to the 750 and AP3 maybe? …or Legacy Black finally brought to retail…hallelujah. CF16 replacement???!
  • Equipto: These look very sharp, and like thumpers. I don’t care if they are a Legacy Black or Apex replacement, call them whatever… i’ll try them 
  • mrmikeac: Next gen Callaway Apex Legacy? Hmmmm…..
  • Brizam: The Legacy Black might be the best players cavity back ever made.  If they were to become available they’d move straight to the top of the list of clubs to buy for me. 
  • Jourdan M: This is the Apex Pro 

Here are photos of the new Callaway irons we spotted

Previous Apex Pro irons

Previous Legacy irons

Which one do you think the new iron looks like? 

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Equipment

Wilson’s new FG Tour V6 RAW irons (yes, they will rust)

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Wilson came out with its FG Tour V6 irons in 2016, but these new Raw versions have a different look… and with time, they’ll have a VERY different look.

The new FG Tour V6 Raw irons have an unplated finish, and they’re designed to “develop a unique patina based on age, exposure and use over time,” according to Wilson. This gives each iron a unique look, and one that’s far from the clean cut original FG Tour release that had a chrome finish (which won’t rust).

In addition to the rusting effect, the irons are different because they have a copper badge in the cavity that will eventually match the color of the golf club over time. Here’s a graphic mock-up of how the Raw irons may look overtime.

Like the original releases, the irons have tungsten weights and mass behind the impact area for a “forged feel” and “improved feedback,” according to the company.

The FG Tour V6 Raw irons are a custom option on Wilson.com, and are available through Wilson’s premium partner accounts as of today, Tuesday, June 19. According to Wilson, the Raw irons “are a very limited production run,” so only a certain amount of sets will even be built.

 

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Equipment

Chief Engineer Chris Voshall on Mizuno’s approach to the Tour and some of the most insightful pros

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Mizuno’s Chief Engineer Chris Voshall chatted with Johnny Wunder on the latest episode of the Gear Dive.

Voshall offers innumerable interesting anecdotes–particularly interesting is the development of the JPX 900 iron for Brooks Koepka and Voshall’s discussion of his work with other Tour talents.

In the excerpt below, however, Voshall discusses Mizuno’s approach to Tour players and further, whose feedback has proven particularly valuable.

“We’re not making them something special. If they’re coming to us, it’s because the product is that good…They come to us instead of us having to go to them…that’s one of the really exciting things.”

Voshall indicated that players on Tour play essentially the same Mizuno products that are available at retail.

“If the Tour van is out of inventory, they can reach out to us…and we’ll get them more heads. There’s nothing unique about what they’re playing, which I think speaks to the customer…you can almost not trust marketing around the whole world these days, but for us to say ‘there’s nothing different’…that’s something we really hang our hat on.”

With respect to excellent testers on Tour, Voshall sang Luke Donald’s praises, as well as Jhonny Vegas and Brian Gay.

“I love working with Luke. Luke, especially when you’re talking irons…turf interaction, that’s the thing he’s looking for. So with Luke, you’ve really got to speak to him about how it feels, how it enter, how it exits [the turf] and how that’s causing the ball to launch. You could give him the exact same head with a slightly different sole grind, and he will love or hate one versus the other. He’s really cool to work with on that front.”

“Jhonny Vegas…he’s raw power. He goes at it. He wants to slam the club into the ground as hard as he can and see where it goes. He very much on the opposite end of the spectrum as Luke, who’s very much an artist out there, trying to work it, trying to do different things.”

“One of my favorite guys to work with, even though he’s not on staff anymore, is Brian Gay. He knows his game. He knows equipment. Speaking to the fact that he’s been out on Tour as long as he has and has the wins he has with the length he hits the ball, it shows that he does not miss a shot. And he knows everything…when he makes a comment on a club, that’s the one that I take most serious.”

For the rest of Voshall’s insights and perspective, give the full podcast a listen below.

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